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A nation must think before it acts.
This article outlines the author’s personal experience of life in Afghanistan, supplemented by the research and views of contemporaries. It explores the recent history and ethnography; the legacy of the Mujahideen; the rise of the Taliban and al-Qaeda; the relationship with Pakistan and other challenges to security and stability in the region, including the nexus between drug cultivation, trafficking, corruption, and insecurity; kidnapping; and bribery in official transactions. The rise in size and capability of the Afghan security forces is also covered along with the role of modern technologies in combatting the nexus.